A HARD-HITTING interpretation of the world's best-known tale of star-crossed lovers will hit Malvern Theatres on Tuesday (October 30).

Rome and Jewels, described as West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet retold through the eyes of a hip-hop poet, gives the story a new focus on the scope and distinctions in different hip-hop styles.

The show is directed and choreographed by Rennie Harris, whose dance group, Puremovement, is currently touring the country with it.

It divides the warring factions of Caps (Capulets) and Monsterques (Montagues) along the lines of B-boy dancing versus hip-hop.

"Most people know B-boy as breakdancing," he explained. "Although that's really the wrong word to use. It was invented by the media and no breakers I know call it that.

"It's full of movement, whereas hip-hop dancing is much a more social style, it grew out of social dancing in the 80s. Hip-hop dancers' feet don't seem to touch the ground."

When he is not touring shows with his company, Rennie hosts workshops, classes, mentoring schemes and lectures on dance, both in his native USA and in Europe.

He maintains the forms are "accessible for normal people. They're open to anyone who wants to celebrate, who wants to dance."

Rome and Jewels will run from Tuesday, October 30 to November 2. Tickets are £8-£12, students £6, available on 01684 892277.